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Replaced battery, car still won't start - Possibly fried the electronics

23095 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  0dyfamily
I'm affraid I may have screwed the pooch this time. Let me know what you think...

Wife called from home today that our 04 Odyssey EX wouldn't start. Within the last 6 months or so our kids have managed to drain the battery twice by leaving on some interior light. Because of this I bought a Batttery Tender to help charge the battery back to full capacity after jumping the battery. Just 3 weeks ago I used the Battery Tender to top off the battery.

When I got home I hooked up the Battery Tender, but it showed a constant red flashing light, normally indicating a bad battery connection or (after I looked it up) a battery below 3 volts that might not recharge.

To make a long story short, I wanted to hook up my battery from our '97 Acura 3.2 TL on the van to at least start it and turn off whatever interior light was on that drained the battery.

In the process of connecting the Acura battery I hooked up the wrong battery terminals! As soon as I connected them the car horn sounded. In a single car garage this scared the heck out of me and my ears are still ringing. I assumed the horn sounded because of the car alarm. So I tried several more times to turn off the 'alarm' by hooking up the battery and then trying the remote key fob, the keys in the door, and the keys in the ignition. Each time I would connect then disconnect the battery terminals.

Now it seems as though the horn sounding was an indicator that the battery was hooked up in reverse. It wasn't until later that I figured out my blunder. (The acura battery had each terminal on the opposite side, and there was some red anti-corrosive stuff surrounding the negative terminal which made me think it was the positive. Plus it was dark in the garage. Argg!!!)

Now for the bad news. I replaced the van battery with a new one, go to start the car and still nothing. Ughh....
Oddly enough the emergency flasher lights and the brake lights work when I tell them to, but nothing else as far as I can tell.

I checked the fuses near the driver's side left leg. Those all seemed fine.

I'm stuck now. Don't know what to do. I'm affraid I fried some electrical componenet by repeatedly hooking up the Acura battery in reverse.

Anything else I could check before handing it over to the shop along with all of my credit cards?

I'm also literally stuck... in the garage. We have a single car garage and I don't know how to push the car out if I need to get it towed. Is there some way to take the car out of Park without starting the car? I tried by turning the key all the way in the ignition, placing my foot on the brake, but it won't come out of park.

I really appreciate any help.
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You most likely blew one of the main fusable links under the hood. Look for the fuse box under the hood and check the large fuses.
Unless I'm thinking of a different car, there's some large fuses under a cover on the passenger side under the hood. Not a fuse you can buy at Walmart, they are like 30 amp I think. As for getting out of park, there's a small plastic plug on the horizontal cover behind the steering wheel. Remove the plug and your key will fit in there to allow getting it out of park.
Here's a picture, it's listed under "CONTROL UNIT (ENGINE ROOM)" on Bernardi Honda's site. 5 thru 8 and 24 thru 28 are the fuses.


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It's likely THE main fuse in the box under the hood I can't recall if it is 130 or 150 amp. Yeah, that's a big one. There's a good chance thats all you blew.

Ask me how I know! :stupid:
Main fuse blown

Yup. The main battery 'butterfly' fuse under the hood was blown.
It was a 150 amp fuse.

No parts store in the area carries that fuse, so I went to Honda service center with the fuse in hand to show it to them. They don't carry it on hand so they had to special order it.

When it came in today to pick it up it was a 120 amp fuse. I told the guy the fuse I pulled from the car was 150 amp and he said they don't have 150 amp fuses. There wasn't even one listed in the computer system.

So I left with the 120 fuse. I figure I'll pop it in and hope I don't blow it (and I'll make sure to not hook up the battery wrong.)

My van is an EX with the DVD package... I hope this won't blow the fuse.

Should I have anything to worry about? Should I refuse to use the fuse? (what a mouth full) I have no other option because no one else around here carries a 150.
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Using an under-rated fuse certainly won't hurt anything. The worst is that it could blow unnecessarily and so become a nuisance. However, you would need to run a lot of stuff to draw that much current. I wouldn't worry about it.

Let us know if the new fuse fixes the problem...
Bernardiparts only lists a 120 for your van so maybe someone blew it before and stuck a 150 in there. You should be ok, can't see you ever going close to that high.
I'm pretty sure I got a 150 from Majestic Honda online when I needed it. Reasonable price too.

IIRC, I made do with a 100 amp fuse until the mail order part came in. In the meantime, I told my wife NO using the rear defroster at the same time as the front defrost. We also don't have power side sliders (LX) or heated seats. If you DO have 'em, refrain from using the heated seats and only operate ONE door at a time until the fuse is replaced.

The fuse is likely VERY conservative. Honda just doesn't want it to blow if you are blasting the stereo, headlights and foglights one, both defrosters blasting, heated seats going, slide doors opening AND you are in the process of rolling all windows up...

That oughta hold you over. Good luck.
OEM service manual shows it (F41) as a 120 amp fuse... Someone has probably changed it before.
So good news and bad news.
Stuck in the 120 fuse and the car finally runs again. Phew!!

Bad news. The radio and DVD player no longer work at all. Not even a security code request on the radio. :(
Check the radio fuses.
the fuses may still be intact, but the diodes may be fried from the reversal of current. toast!
So yeah, all the fuses look OK.
But no radio... :( Not even the alarm light on the radio blinks when the car is locked.

I guess its fried.

I'm guessing the only thing left to do is replace the radio. Anyone know of any places to scope out prices? I have the DVD package as well.... so who knows how much this is going to cost. :(

Maybe I'll replace the head unit first, see if the DVD player works. If not, replace the DVD player/screen next.
i know its been awhile, but does the radio have that burned electric smell to it? it does,, definitly toast.
if not, pull it and have it checked to possibly eliminate the radio.
there could be something else thats wrong.
I agree with Pete, check into it more. You'll be peeved if you buy a new radio and it doesn't power up. Pull the radio and check the connector for power and ground when the key is on. You should be able to locate the pinout somewhere. Radios have accessory power and always on power for the memory. If either is out it will not work. The memory power would be a different fuse and may be shared with something else.
ive smoked radios by reversing the voltage flow(by accident i might add,,i was a kid, learned all about positive and negative with a blaupunk and paid for it)

give it the smell test,,if you can smell it,, the radio is toast,, check the wire connections, you may have melted the main lead.
More help needed. :confused:
So I rechecked all the fuses. All OK
Pulled out the radio. Dismantled it, everything looked Ok (not that that means anything)
I checked the voltage coming from the plugs that go into the back of the radio. I didn't know where to stick my mulimeter probes so I tried several contacts and was able to get 14v readings from the main plug (or what looked like the main plug)

I bought an identical radio from a auto recycler. I installed that radio today and..... nothing. It still shows no signs of life.

So what else is there to check between the battery, fuses, and the radio?

Thanks for any ideas.
I will make only one suggestiom. Find someone knowegable in electrical work to assist you and advise you on diagnosing the problems. By continuing guesing and trying things you are sinking it deeper. Take it to a mechanic or get help.
There are probably no fewer than 6 pins that should have power headed into that radio.

I'll see if I can track them down.
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